Colorado Ballet honors composer killed in crash


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DENVER — The Colorado Ballet is using music to honor beloved Arvada composer Kresten Wolff, who was killed in a crash with a drunken driving suspect in February.

Wolff was on his way home with his two children on Feb. 5 when, Arvada Police said, 23-year-old Juan Ortega Torres Jr. ran a red light and pushed the Wolff family car into a nearby home.

“That was the worst day of my life,” said Alicia Wolff. “All I could think of was ‘is my husband OK? Is he in it? Are my kids in it?’ And it was there, a very kind police officer told me ‘I’m sorry, your husband is deceased.’”

RELATED: Promising music composer identified as victim in fatal Arvada crash

Wolff said her husband was unlike anyone she had ever met, with a passion for sharing love and joy through his music.

The well-known composer and conductor often worked with the Colorado Ballet, where news of his passing brought classes to a standstill.

“He turned our studios, our building, into a cathedral,” said artistic director Gil Boggs. “The kids just, as they spoke about him, you could tell how much they loved him and what he’d done.”

At a recent performance, students and choreographers were given the option to choose music to perform, Boggs said.

Every single group chose a song composed by Wolff.

“[It was] emotional,” Boggs said. “Spectacular, though. Music is so important to dancers, and I think they learned from Kresten how to listen to it, how to create to it, so I think that will be his legacy for us.”

Alicia Wolff said the outpouring of support from the community has been nothing short of incredible, and she’s honored to see Wolff’s work live on.

Both of their children are at home recovering from the crash, as they try to come to grips with what happened.

Torres remains in custody and faces multiple charges, including vehicular homicide. Wolff said she chooses not to focus her energy on him but instead to focus on her husband and his lasting impact.

“In the people that he’s left behind, and the music that he’s left behind, 100% I would say his symphony is still playing,” she said.

RELATED: Arvada releases details in deadly 3-car crash


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Colorado Ballet honors composer killed in crash

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